My First Garden

I have an organic garden.

This is the first ‘real’ organic garden I have ever planted.  

I have grown almost everything in my garden from seed.
I am totally overwhelmed with my garden and I am completely shocked at how happy this garden makes me feel.

My dad always had a garden.  His dad always had a garden. I tried to garden when the kids were little, but I never seemed to find the time to give to it, so I failed easily because the idea was always bigger than my effort to maintain it.

But, this year, I decided it was my turn to try for real this time.  Kind of like each attempt at losing my jelly roll around my tummy.  

I did some research.  Made sure I checked the calendar for when to plant.  Did my garden have enough sun? It was really fun to do all the prep.  Then one day went to the local nursery and loaded up on seed packs.

In early spring, I planted.  Lucky for me, I have a greenhouse.  I have never had one before, so even that was new.

I watered, waited, watered, waited.  Then, went into the yard and started to prepare the space we were going to use as a garden.  A lot of digging, weeding, more digging, and then a truck of new soil. That was the biggest expense.

I had entered into this little adventure with the idea that it was an inexpensive hobby and if nothing actually was edible, the adventure was going to be worth it.  The only real cost being sweat equity and that soil.

As the weeks went along, little sprouts came and then the day to put them all outside in our garden.  So exciting. And nervewracking. There was also an unknown variable. We had deer that came through our yard quite regularly, so I was a little concerned that all I was growing was a salad bar for them.  By the way, the deer have not touched it at all. I believe it is where it is in the yard and the fact that there is a lot of other food for them on the other side of the yard.

The spring turned to summer and we began to see our efforts paying off.  First, was the kale to look like kale, then spinach, and lettuce. Soon we saw little zucchini flowers and pumpkin blossoms.  The beets started to grow and before long our garden looked like a garden.

This has been so much fun for me.  Here we are in mid-summer and we are picking every day, for our shakes, kale, and spinach.  We have been feeding our friends, family and our kids' lettuce, cucumbers, beets, zucchini, spinach, kale and soon we will be handing out tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and watermelons.  

Some of the things we planted didn’t go quite as planned but with everything else growing so well, it doesn’t even matter.  We have learned so much about watering, bugs, mildew, weeds, and things that I had no idea I wanted to know.

And by the way, while our garden is growing like crazy, I have been planted herbs in the greenhouse and they are also my little miracle babies.  The greenhouse smells so good.

I have bees in there, birds in and out, butterflies fluttering around and none of them seem bothered by me being in there.  We had a problem with aphids and so we bought ladybugs to get rid of them. Yes, ladybugs. No pesticides, who knew?

Why am I gushing about this?  It is new to me. I had no idea I would love it so much.  I have talked about trying new things before Working out for the First Time and Try Something New, this isn’t normally what someone thinks of when thinking of ways to stay active and get healthy, but it totally is.  I am always wandering into the garden. I am always doing a little weeding. There are feeding and watering. All things that keep me just a little more active than watching the gardening channel, than driving to the store.

If you get the opportunity, try a little growing.  Even in the window. Even some herbs. Anything that keeps you distracted from becoming a mushroom yourself and gives you something just a little bit healthier.  And the best part is that the flavors of the things that come out fo your garden will absolutely amaze you.

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust. -Gertrude Jekyll

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